Speech by H.E. Dr. Jabbari, September 2012, Turkey
Honorable Chairman, Excellences, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my capacity as the Executive Director of ECO Cultural Institute (ECI), allow me at the outset to, on behalf of ECI President, Professor Iftikhar Husain Arif, congratulate the Ministry of National Education, Eskisehir Osmangazi University as well as ECO Educational Institute for organizing and co-hosting this important Congress. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to H. E. Mr. Nabi Aver, Honorable Minister of National Education, H. E. Mr. Gungor Tuna, Honorable Governor of the magnificent and historical city of Eskisehir and Professor Salahattin Turan, President of ECO Educational Institute and his team for the warm hospitality extended to all of us and excellent arrangements for this Meeting.
As an Iranian, I should not fail to express how I am fascinated to be here in this historical, cultural and educational city of Eskisehir which is a true example of cultural and civilizational exchanges between Turkey and the ancient Iran which goes back to more than 10 centuries B. C.
ECO Cultural Institute is an initiating, coordinating, financing and monitoring agency for the consolidation of cultural affinities and spiritual and fraternal ties among the people of ECO region through social and cultural activities and channels.
It is a truism to say that countries belonging to ECO have very strong cultural identity. At the same time, profound, multidimensional and millennia cultural and civilizational commonalities constitute the unique characteristic of the countries and people of ECO Region.
The ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) as a specialized agency in the ECO family organizes and coordinates cultural activities among the member states and endeavor to further promote and revitalize these commonalities and transfer them to new generations and youth of the region. Our role is to prepare the ground for interaction and exchanges among elites from culture, literature, scholar, artists and media communities in the region.
For that purpose, we organize social and cultural events such as painting and calligraphy exhibitions, poetry nights, sports games, music festivals, etc. in the member countries. Cooperation between national libraries, participation in book fairs, ministerial meeting on youth, establishment of ties with UNESCO and other international cultural institutions are but some of our current activities and policies. ECI also publishes ECO heritage quarterly. The next issue of ECO heritage will be devoted to culture and civilization in ECO countries, including in Turkey. Poetry and literature, folk and handicrafts, and architecture are the titles of future editions of ECO heritage. You can follow ECI news and information through its website: www.ecieco.org.
The Three ECO institutes including cultural, educational and scientific institutes as three specialized agencies within the ECO family complement each other at the conceptual level. Therefore, coordination and cooperation among them within a coordinated and common strategic and policy framework contribute to the cultural, educational and scientific development of the region.
Let me take this opportunity to reiterate that Turkey as a developed country and member of OECD, but at the same time, as one of the founders of ECO, a key member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation OIC and an important regional power with a glorious and millennia civilization and a reach culture has in fact a crucial role to play in cultural and civilizational exchanges in ECO region. In this regard, we hope that the Republic of Turkey ratifies the ECI Charter and becomes a member of this important institute as soon as possible.
Distinguished speakers of this congress reiterated on the vitality of cultural identity in education system. This is yet another obvious reason that makes the membership and participation of Turkey in ECO Cultural Institute so vital.
Just not to miss the important issue of education, we believe that great opportunities exist for scientific exchanges in our region. For example, in Iran we have five national committees under the auspices of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran including on Nano, bio, aerospace and nuclear technologies, and also on cognitive sciences and technologies. As you may know, Iran is ranking among the ten most advanced countries in the world in the fields of Nano, bio, nuclear and aerospace technologies. Considerable investments have recently been made on cognitive science and technologies as well. The scientific knowledge growth rate in Iran is eleven times faster than the world average and the highest in the Middle East. We can offer scholarships, exchange of students and professors, joint research programmes and short and long term training courses in these fields.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, history of the last 6 decades clearly shows that for various political, technical and technological reasons, developing countries cannot and should not depend any more on North South cooperation. Now this is time for us to believe on the effectiveness and positive impacts of South cooperation as a useful means and ways of social, economic, scientific and technological development of our countries.